Wednesday, December 15, 2010
FIVE OAK’S GAZETTE
By Paige Kenyon
There’s been some strange and exciting goings on in Five Oaks recently—not one, but four authors have based their Christmas stories in our fine town. And to find out just why these ladies selected Five Oaks, today I’m sitting down with two of those authors: Nina Croft and R.M. Gilbert, to ask them what brought them so far from home this Christmas.
Nina and R.M. have also agreed to answer questions submitted by the good people of our community. But first, one from me.
Q: I know you come from all over the world, so can you tell me how you came together to write the anthology?
Nina: We’re all part of a fabulous online critique group, , which gave us the name of the anthology: A Passionate Christmas. I’ve been a member for a year now and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made as a writer!
Q: The next question comes from my editor Larry Follock. He wondered how the idea for this series got started? And when.
R.M: Back in May of this year one of our fellow critters, Stephanie Taylor suggested we get together and write an anthology of Christmas stories.
Nina: We all loved the idea. That was followed by a few weeks of frenzied activity, where lots of us signed up, the town of Five Oaks was born and a whole load of characters and places came to life.
Q: A question from Maddy Glover, who recently returned from the big city. So what appealed to you about Five Oaks? Why not New York, or Paris or, or well…anywhere?
Nina: Passionate Critters has members from all around the world, England, Germany, Finland, but the majority are American, and so it seemed natural to base Five Oaks in America. Silke came up with the name Five Oaks, also affectionately known as Five Stumps by the locals because… Well you’ll have to read Silke’s story, Smitten, to find out why.
Q: This next question was sent in by our very own Dr. Ash Delaney. He would like to know, at what point during the process did you want to burn the town to the ground?
RM: For me, the second I signed on I was beating my head against the wall. I’m not a short story teller. This book ended at approx. 23k words (though my original submission was only 15). It was the first book I’ve written under 90k. Yikes.
Nina: My urges towards arson didn’t really begin until close to the end of the process. I really enjoyed writing the story.
Q: What was it like coordinating your stories with women who are in different countries?
RM: Since we couldn’t sit at a table together. Most of it happened within the group forums, e-mail and skype. It was very difficult. No lie, there were times we were ready to pull our hair out. And each others.
Nina: Yeah—that’s about the time I started dreaming about fires.
Q: Is it safe to say you’re all still friends?
Nina: Definitely still friends!
Q: Our final question was sent in by a reader who asked to be called Dina, (though she looks a lot like Edna Carruthers to me). She wondered how you finished the stories on a time crunch and what’s next?
RM: Love this question. If it hadn’t been for my sister, taking me away for a few days, I never would have finished. (She too, is a writer and will celebrate her first release with Astraea Press in February). As for what’s next, we’ll promo together. But I also write young adult fiction and will focus my efforts on submitting my current WIP in the next couple months.
Nina: I think because we were writing an anthology and were all relying on each other to do our bits, we had to just sit down and finish. None of us wanted to let the others down, and that’s a big motivation. As to what’s next—for me lots of witches and warlocks, there’s a werewolf waiting to come out, and of course a few vampires in the mix.
Q: Sounds like you’ll both be busy. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Nina: Only that we’ve joined together with Decadent Publishing to support the American Cancer Society in the Relay For Life.
I’ll be sure to check that out and donate. And from the people of Five Oaks I want to thank the ladies for sitting down with me. If anyone would like to know more about Nina and R.M. then pop over to their sites.